It tries to find a way back in

27 Jul

This morning I wanted to give up. I almost made a promise to myself again that I made so long ago when I was still a kid. It goes something like “I will do anything and everything asked of me if it means that I can lose weight”. In that moment I think I meant it because I wanted to feel like I didn’t have to be this constant pro-recovery person who lives knowing the reality of an Eating Disorder. I wanted to romanticise the process of losing weight and let myself believe that if I did that then I would begin to be more comfortable with myself.

“I’ll lose enough to make me feel more comfortable”
” It’ll only be a little”
“I would know this time when to stop and how to stop”
“It’s not Anorexia, it’s just me trying to be healthy”
“It’ll make me feel alright about myself”

The thing is, sometimes I hate being aware of the hurt that an Eating Disorder causes. I want to be ignorant to it and believe with all my heart that that is the tangible thing that’s going to fix me because it’s simple and achievable. The truth though is that it never did and if I think about it, I don’t need fixing anymore. At least not in the way that I once thought I did. I keep tripping up over this whole body image thing and for the life of me I cannot stop letting my brain get trapped in those mirror wars. It wears you down when the only thing you see is someone who is fat and who needs to be minimised. I don’t feel very contained and that leads to this sensation that I am about to explode in million directions. The disorder says “be better”…but what it’s really saying is “Be less. Be closer to death than to life”. This cycle will continuously repeat itself every time I give in to it and I’m trying so hard to not this time. Every week I throw goodness knows how many challenges at myself, I push things beyond what I imagine myself capable of doing and yet those intrinsic thoughts I have about myself remain the same. It took me nearly three hours to get dressed this morning and then all day all I wanted was to climb back in to my pyjamas. There isn’t enough hours in the day for me to be doing that! It’s got to stop. Somehow I am going to have to learn how to make peace with myself and fast because I am petrified of everything suddenly unravelling.

So, those were my thoughts this morning but I have managed to not engage in them. I’m figuring out that you can think all those things and that’s shit for you, but what matters in the end is how you choose to react to them. I ended up spending the day with a good friend of mine and her baby son. We caught up, we gave each other pep talks and then we randomly decided to have lunch. It wasn’t easy considering I knew that this afternoon I was having a massive challenge for a snack and my initial plan of action was to restrict. It was nice. I think the last time we really ate together was when we were in treatment together the first time…so coming up to three years. Definitely a more relaxing atmosphere! Afterwards I went to meet my support worker for my snack…Lets just say it happened and I finally fulfilled the promise I made to my little brother when I told him that I was going into hospital and he asked me if it meant that I would be able to do this thing. I don’t feel good about it right now though…the guilt is too much.

Anorexia has been more than present today and has nearly brought me to tears more times than I care to count anymore. Yes I looked back with rose-tinted glasses and entertained the idea of running miles and reducing my intake but I don’t want to live like that. I was reminded of that by looking through some of my old posts. I was so unhappy back then. I was afraid everyday of everything and I’m not sure how I kept functioning. I’m beginning to get there now. My mood is generally better and I don’t seek an end. I don’t want to obliterate myself. I’ve lived with fear so long and I am beginning to undo the damage that I did, so why would I want to go back?

There would be no point because despite the hate, I don’t think I hate myself quite like that anymore.

I hope you day has been kind to you.

Rough Challenges

24 Jul

Twice this week I’ve done pretty big challenges and both times, instead of being fine about them, I have gotten in my car when my appointment was over and broke down in tears. I wanted tell myself that it was ok that I had eaten what I’d eaten and in some way should have felt proud about that but I couldn’t. The truth is that I wanted to take them back. I felt ashamed and sad and guilty for fighting against my disorder. I felt like I was failing for fighting which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me right now. Part of me worries that the only reason I keep going is because it is expected of me and what happens once that expectation has gone? Will I still continue? Everyone tells me how well I am doing and I guess I am doing well but it feels a little false or like I’m faking. It’s like when I’ve eaten with someone and they ask me if I enjoyed it or if the food tasted good, I still don’t know. I don’t get excited about food or allow my thoughts to go to a place where they are able to consider if I even like them. My challenges are just about having things that scare me because I don’t want something to have that much power over me. I always look like I’m managing on the outside but there are times that I slip and I hate it when people see those moments. I feel so exposed and have to shake myself out of the space that I go into. It happened yesterday at my group. I was handling oil at the time and I just froze, like I was trapped in some other universe that I didn’t know how to come back form. It only lasted a few seconds but it was long enough for my dietician to see and comment that that had looked like a difficult moment. I remember smiling at her and saying ‘Yea, but it’s fine’. I did not want to be the person that fell down. It’s getting harder to admit to the areas in which I am struggling because I feel like I shouldn’t be. I don’t tell anyone on my treatment team about the crying in the car or the numerous lost hours in front of the mirror in the morning. I don’t tell them about how I disappear in the middle of the day mentally or where I go to. Maybe I should, but then maybe what’s the point? You see I am alright, I don’t want to lose that and part of me thinks that if I admit to those things than maybe I won’t be anymore. Does that make sense?

Everyday I wish I could turn this part of my brain off. Just make it go quiet so I can think other things. It would be so nice. The disorder has been snapping at my heals more today than usual. I’ve been at home and not doing very much other than cleaning. In a way it’s been nice to not be around people but it’s also been a little difficult because I don’t feel physically amazing at the moment. I decided that I wanted to reduce my sleeping medication last week and so I saw the doctor yesterday to chat about it then started the reduction last night. I slept some but it was a long night and not a very restful one either. I have felt it today so it was good that the only responsibility I had was keeping myself in one piece and getting to my appointment with the nurse for weight and bloods. I’m really hoping that tonight goes a bit better and at the very least I’ll be functioning on all cylinders again by Monday. I’ve decided to try give it a week and see how things go. Luckily I have a pretty amazing doctor who is supportive in whatever I choose to do so that helps and certainly takes the pressure off. I know that I am doing this because I want to rather than feeling like I’m being backed into a corner and made to change. I’ll keep you posted about that.

What I’ve also learnt in the last couple of days is to not Facebook stalk the people you were in treatment with and who you know fully intended to go out and lose weight when they left. It’s not beneficial to maintaining a recovery. I think the reason it is so hard to see people like that is because they are not honest about it to themselves or with anyone else and I guess it is that denial that is so triggering. It’s incredibly sad to see that they still think there is something good to be found in this disorder. That being thin is worth everything that it will eventually cost them. It breaks your heart, doesn’t it?

I hope your day has been good to you.

Discharge Prep

20 Jul

It’s been a few days since I last wrote but that doesn’t change that this battle with the Eating Disorder remains something that I am fully immersed in day by day. I keep hoping that eventually that will start to change. I’ll have untangled myself enough in order to see things beyond it. I do have that hope now or at least I’m starting to because things are moving forward, even on the harder days, I know that things are not as they were. I am better in some ways and I have to be thankful for those though. The biggest improvement is my physical health. Yes there are still issues and I’m sure that it’s going to take a long time for all the repairs that need to be done to be done but I’m not waking up waiting for my organs to simply give up on me anymore. What’s weird is that I am relieved by that. For so long that’s all I wanted. At times it was simply more fuel to add to the hold that Anorexia had over me. I was driving my body into the ground because it was subtly, less noticeable than trying to end my life in another way. I’m trying not to see this entire period of my life as a waste of time because it is a big chunk of my life and believing that it was for nothing, that’s sad. I’m not sad about what I went through but I am when I think it was just empty time or lost time, then yea…that’s when it hurts more.

I guess I am trying to be more reflective lately because I am going to be coming up to the end of my treatment soon. I am going to have to figure out how to do this on my own and not relapse. I’ve never done that before. I’ve always fallen quickly and I think part of the reason I haven’t this time is because I have pretty intensive support right now. Several times a week, I am reminded that I have to keep working at this because the alternative is crap. I can’t even lie to myself which I have done so many times before because people pull me up on that. They don’t let me get lost in my own head or in the Anorexic thoughts. I’m looking forward to it but I am so scared. I’m starting to be invested in life for the first time since I was a kid and I really don’t want to lose that. So in preparation for the discharge I have taken all the work that I have done in the last few weeks in regards to relapse prevention and consolidated it into some kind of mind map. My support worker hung it up on my kitchen cupboards today so that in those moments when I talk myself out of challenging the disorder, I can check that and remind myself why it’s not ok to give in. You can see it below and I would encourage those of you who are in recovery to possibly look at doing something similar. It’s easier to see where you might fall down, if you know what’s there to trip you up.

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I hope your day has been kind to you.

Paying Attention

13 Jul

I always forget how hard it is to manage my real life and recovery at the same time. It is so easy to slip, to make excuses or do less than what is required of me. It feels like I can delay my recovery for a day or take a day off because my work or something else requires more attention and I don’t seem to have the stamina to give my everything to both. It’s a ridiculous theory though isn’t it? Surely if I’m doing more than I need more energy, not less. Yet for me this has always been the case. The more I do, whether it’s work or exercise then the less I need to consume. Biologically it makes no sense, neither does it rationally but nothing this disorder follows the logic of the rest of the world. It happened on Saturday when I was working at a festival all day. I had a lunch but for the amount of activity I was doing, it was not enough. I knew this but for some reason I could not bring myself to have more and the guilt I felt for what I did was overwhelming. I hadn’t wanted it to be like that this year. I wanted to have the strength to get through the day and not feeling like I was ready to fall apart by the end of it…but that didn’t happen. By the time we had packed up and I was heading home, my head was buzzing, my legs felt like they were made of jelly and it was hard to keep my temper in check. Exhausted is too mild a word for what I felt. Don’t get me wrong I had fun, it’s just as always I wondered how much better it would have been had I not been putting my body under physical stress. That is always something I always wonder about so what is stopping me from just finding out?

I did try to redeem myself on Sunday by treating me better which I think I managed. There was no intensity, just cleaning and running errands. I’m not a fan of Sundays so it was just about getting through the day mainly. I knew though that I had to do that in order to get ready for this week which is a really busy week, even for me. Today I tried to begin as I meant to go on but it was kind of a slow start. I’ve been having sinus issues lately that have been making my mornings hell and then the work/lunch thing I had today really didn’t go well. I think I was a bit of a bitch/withdrawn (not sure which one) the first half of the meeting but I settled down after a while. Oddly or un-oddly when the food bit was over. I couldn’t bring myself to order a proper lunch though. My fear got the better of me and so even though I’ve eaten at cafes before, this time I stalled and then bailed. It annoyed me because for the rest of the day, I felt like I was constantly assessing and trying to manage my energy levels. Not ideal when you have things to do. It reminded me again though how much I hated or do hate living life this way. Seriously, having to consider if I’m likely to faint is not how I want to have to consider throughout my day. It’s probably a good thing that I am realising all this now whilst I still have a care team and time before my classes begin in September.

Tomorrow I am going to do one of the biggest challenges I have done in a while. I am so scared that when I think about it, it feels like my heart stops for a moment. That’s the reason why I know I have to do it. I refuse to let something else continue to have that much power over me and if I don’t do it now, then when?

I hope your day has been good to you.

Exercise Triggers

10 Jul

I think things are ok. It’s hard to tell. I get through the day in one piece most of the time and I don’t find myself wanting to scream at myself all the time which is always a positive thing. Of course there are the minor hiccups, the slip of my mood or break in my concentration but it passes. I’ve figured out how to let go of things quicker and easier than I used to be able to. I’ve got to admit, it does feel good to not have that sense of dread existing in my every waking moment. I’m scared to let myself get used to it because I am afraid that at some point it will be taken away again or I will throw it away. Somehow I think that would feel worse…to expect better and then for better to not be sustainable. There are some moments though where all I feel is haunted. It’s like there are all these things which I used to know that have left this imprint on me or something and when I lose my focus, they slip back in.

It happened yesterday.

I was in my weekly nutrition group and the subject was exercise. We were looking at the positives of healthy exercise and the consequences of over-exercising. We had done the positive side and had moved on to the negatives, then out of nowhere came this wave of sadness and desperation. I missed it yet I couldn’t believe I missing something that I know was so destructive to me. You see, it wasn’t the case of the feeling of movement or my heart rate rising, it was the punishing element that I missed. The narrow-mindedness of nothing else mattering. I missed the structure and routine and the physical pain which made me feel both dead and alive in equal measure. I missed feeling like I was in control and could make my body do anything I wanted it to do without listening to it. I thought I was invincible back then and yes I was somewhat delusional but it made sense. In that environment of the gym, where my real life did not enter, I was safe. I was safe until I wasn’t but that is only because the word safe had to be redefined. Then it was about keeping the Anorexia at a tolerable volume, it was making myself smaller and listening to the praises of the people around me as I was getting ‘healthier’. Now though…safe means a functioning heart and repairing my body. It means not losing hours stood on those mats stretching and reaching for an idea that was never attainable. I miss exercise and I want it back in my life properly but it scares me too much. I’m not confident enough to say that I could begin again and be able to stop when my times done. I’m not sure if I am capable yet of learning when enough is enough and not too much. The struggle of finding the middle ground is always going to be a challenge when it comes to this disorder and that annoys me.

Yet I am making progress in other areas of my recovery. The other day I was kind of disheartened by my failed challenge and I knew today was going to be a new one that I would have to meet. My pride would not let me fail again. I wanted to go big yet something held me back. Yes I still did a challenge and it was hard but it wasn’t the big thing that I wanted. It was the safer thing that meant I could hold back and not fall apart. There is nothing terrible about that but that’s not how I want to wrap up this time that I have in treatment. There are a few weeks left and I want to make them like the last two weeks on the ward. At that time, I put myself through hell with the challenges and everyday consisted of several massive things that I had to get over. It wasn’t fun and it sucked but it was the only way that I was going to move forward, so I think I have to apply that here and now. I have to come at this disorder with everything I have because there isn’t time to take it slow anymore. The months and years are slipping by and it still hurts. I’m so tired of it hurting.

I hope your day has been kind to you.

Good and Bad

6 Jul

Can things be equally good and bad? I feel like that’s how they are. In one way I am more together than I think I’ve ever been. Mostly I’ve stabilised my mood, the depression is not as overwhelming as it once was and probably the greatest thing for me is that I know how to laugh again. Do you know how remarkable that feels? For so long it was like I had lost my sense of humour and my ability to find light even when it was slapping me in the face. Now though, despite the way the Eating Disorder still continues to rip my brain apart and the reality that both my friends and family are in free-fall, I seem to be able to tap into something that means I can smile. It’s good and weird but mostly its like being able to breathe after being submerged for too long.

I guess the bad though is that the people around me are struggling. My brother continues to break into more and more pieces as the days pass by. Instead of getting better, he appears to be getting worse and as a result the rest of my family are getting entangled by his behaviour. My Mother is the hardest to deal with as usual as history begins to repeat itself and all she can focus on is that it is something to do with her. All of yesterday I listened to her whine about how she didn’t know what she had done so bad to deserve this. “Why is this happening to me? What have I done to deserve this?” She fails to see that this…just as it was with me was never about her. It is not something being done to her or because of her. She complains about having to be there and then continues to be overly involved and caught up in the drama. I’ll admit that I have my own issues with my Mother that are long-standing and are likely to always be there but my siblings have never had that relationship with her. They invite her into their lives, but they forget that she has no ability in holding back. My brother is nearly 30 and she is caught up in the intricacies of his relationship with his girlfriend. They throw messages backwards and forwards and then they all wonder why it ends in tears because that’s what happens…it always does. I’m actually finding it really hard to be around them when they’re acting like this. It feels toxic somehow. Yesterday I left my house in a good mood and within minutes of picking my Mother up, all the energy had been drained out of me. I tried to explain it to a friend today and she just got it. She met my Mother once when I was in the hospital and felt the energy shift too. My Mother is not a terrible person and it is her love that can make her desperate and grasping at times but it makes me distant, turns me into a person I am not and have no desire to be. Does thinking like this make me a terrible daughter? I try not to be but admittedly I am flawed.

The other struggle comes as always from Anorexia. I have been stepping back into recovery with more determination than the week before. I’ve shaken off that need to crawl back into it’s bubble and re-established my motivation. I know what I want and I know how to get it and all the steps that I need to take in between. It’s just the practicality that’s hard. I still spend too long trying to get dressed and by the end of the morning it looks like a tornado has wound its way through my wardrobe. It’s the one area that no matter how much ground I gain in this process, it never seems to alter. The body wars are driving me up the wall. I also failed my first challenge today. Ok maybe fail is a harsh word but I couldn’t complete it and to be quite honest it wasn’t even the hardest one. There was that moment where the shutter just came down and regardless of the rationalising that I was trying to do and my support worker was trying to help me do, I just couldn’t go any further with it. Mostly I was annoyed with myself and realised that there is still a lot of work to do. I panicked afterwards because suddenly I couldn’t see how I was supposed to live the rest of my life doing the eating thing everyday but then…life in starvation is not sustainable either. My next day to do a challenge with her is on Friday and I fully intend to hit it hard and get it done. I’m also going to repeat today next week if only to prove to myself that I can do it. If I avoid it then it grows and that is harder to come back from.

I’m still going. There isn’t really an alternative that I’m ok with.

I hope your day has been good to you.

Worth

1 Jul

I am getting back into the swing of things. No more playing around and taking the easier options. So far this week I have done two massive challenges and it’s only Wednesday. It’s hard to say that I feel proud of myself for them but I am really pleased that I am proving myself wrong. I thought these terrible things were going to happen by doing these challenges and yet for the most part, I’m still standing. The worst case scenarios have failed to materialise, which is nice but it also annoys me a little that I have spent years being so afraid for no good reason. The fear was unfounded. There was no point to it. I’m not even sure when they came into play. I suppose it’s what happens when you don’t pay attention. Things…thoughts, fears and behaviours have a way of creeping up on you and even though you may have known the logic behind them once, you get to a point where you can’t remember what that logic is anymore and the only reason you carry on is because it has become so entrenched that you don’t know how to let go. Maybe that it’s where the success in recovery lays…the ability to figure out how to just let go. Letting go of being afraid, of control, of hate or sadness. Letting go of the lies that you tell yourself and the torture that you put yourself through. It is essentially an extremely complex problem but the answer is really quite simple. The answer is to just stop being so barbaric to yourself…because what Anorexia makes us do is not human. There is no way that I would ever be able to physically hurt someone else, or starve them or make them throw up or isolate them. Yet I did that to myself…or Anorexia did that to me. Either way we have to stop thinking that we are less than human and that we are exempt from the rules of common decency. We aren’t…not one of us is. Of course you are free to argue that, believe you are different, that you truly deserve unhappiness and suffering…but you don’t. I guess I don’t either. Yet I still doubt it and in my heart I know that if I carry on holding on to that, then I’m not going to fully recover. You don’t fight for the thing that’s not worth saving. You fight for the thing that is. We…you and I guess me…we are already worthy. Somehow we’re all going to have to internalise that.

I’m moving forward in my recovery. It has certainly been shook up this last week but it was probably a good thing. Helped me refocus and not get complacent. My discharge date has been moved forward to August as my Nurse is leaving. Mostly I am ok with this. I am both anxious but ridiculously excited. The nerves are because I’ve never being able to sustain this. This whole staying at a healthy weight is new to me and I still haven’t made up my mind about how I feel about it. Intellectually I know that I need to stay here or even go higher if I want to study and socialise and generally have a life. Emotionally that picture looks cloudy. I’m excited though because it’s another step to reclaiming my freedom. I may be out of hospital but I still feel accountable to other people. They get access to parts of my life just because of their roles and I want to just be me. Not a patient or a diagnosis or a risk assessment or a BMI. Just me…the person. Can you understand that? It’s a mentality thing. So the plan is to carry on pushing through and getting as much done as I possibly can in the time that I have left in treatment.

I’m beginning to think that maybe things have a chance of being ok. I hope it’s real.

I hope your day has been kind to you.

It got loud

28 Jun

My head space got worse. It felt like I was sinking into something that felt familiar and normal. The most terrifying part though was how I didn’t care. Out of nowhere I had this sudden narrow minded drive of wanting to make myself less and being completely uninterested in the consequences or damage that I would do in trying to attain that. I gave into Anorexia. I listened. I threw myself on to the tracks and waited for the train to come whistling by. It was all rather dramatic but also kind of flat. I mean, my head was screaming and I was struggling to keep myself from punching the mirror but I became quiet and withdrawn. I thought I was going to be ok with a relapse because it had to be better than what I was feeling in that moment, didn’t it? I could lose it all again and I’d be fine. I would just have to make sure people wouldn’t notice. It was somewhere during this period of me trying to rationalise how I could stop fighting the disorder when it struck me that what I was doing was not fine. Deconstructing my entire life again because I hate my body began to feel a little bit ridiculous. Was I really prepared to give it all up again, my life, family, friends, classes…for the sake of x amount of lbs? I’ll be honest with you, for a time I thought the answer was yes. Then I drove home last night and went past this woman who must have been in her sixties. She was small, painfully so and walking that walk which is more purposeful than a stroll. It broke my heart. Then it scared me. My twenties will be over soon and my life is passing me by because I am too wrapped up in this disorder to ever really be present in it. It started to filter in then, the memories of the reality of losing weight. The cold and the pain. The hair loss and the irregular heart beats. The bone weakness and muscle wasting. It seems like to high a price to pay for a reflection that I don’t like. So I’m trying to reshift things in my head once again. I caught myself this time so it’s not like I have a lot to undo but it unnerves me how it strikes apparently out of nowhere. Maybe that will always be a risk, just when I think I’m doing alright, it has to come and rattle me. All it takes is the wrong thought that I let in and I’m snowballed.

I hope it won’t always be this hard.

I hope your day has been good to you.

What’s it trying to tell me?

25 Jun

It’s fair to say that I am having a pretty awful day, which is something considering that it’s not even lunch time and I haven’t left the house yet. So far I have cancelled my trip to the doctors to have my weight and blood tests done, gone through a ridiculous amount of outfit changes and then cancelled my lunch time appointment with my Health Support Worker. As the days pass lately, my body image seems to be getting worse. I cannot bear being in my own skin right now and have this desire to crawl out of it or change it. Everything makes me feel uncomfortable, my clothes don’t look right, my hair is wrong, my face is ugly. I am trying to figure out if what I am seeing is a true reflection or if my mind is trying to tell me something isn’t right. Yet I don’t know what that thing is. If I look at my life it seems fine to me. There is nothing that is upsetting or particularly hard right. There is not a situation that I want to avoid or run from. Plainly speaking, there is no need for Anorexia to be getting louder but it is. I don’t know how much longer I can keep ignoring the call that tells me to reduce myself.

I’m losing entire mornings torturing myself in front of the mirror. It hurts to look into it and I don’t know how I accept what I am seeing. Maybe it’s getting harder because I’m finally starting to grasp that all the weight restoration that I did isn’t temporary? Before the intention to lose weight when it was over was there. I could stomach it a bit better because it wasn’t going to be real or a long-term thing. This time it’s supposed to be though. This is the body that I am going to have to spend the rest of my life living in and every time I think of that, it’s like I’m being kicked in the face. There are so many more important reasons why I chose to recover and yet it’s hard to see what they are now or why they matter more. I know that weight is only one surface issue when it comes to an Eating Disorder but it is one I can’t seem to get past. Logically I know that I was miserable at a lower weight, that it didn’t fix me or made me acceptable but my brain wants to believe that it was at least better than this. Was it better than this?

Physically I am probably healthier than I have been in years. I’m not waiting anymore for a heart attack. I’m not ruining my bones or throwing my bloods out of whack. Why isn’t that enough? It’s just painful existing this way and I want to not care but dammit I do care! I can’t hate other people but for some reason I can’t let go of this self loathing which never seems to lessen. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I apply what I believe for other people to myself?

I can’t hide from the world forever. It’s not convenient.

I hope your day is kind to you.

Pushing Myself

22 Jun

It’s been a few days and I can safely say that I have let go of my anger. It is such a useless emotion for me to experience because all I ever feel is destroyed by it. I truly believe in the Buddhist quote which says “holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. I don’t have the energy or desire to keep holding on to something so toxic. I did learn something from it though and that was that I am not as cold on the inside as I thought. I had this idea in my head that I had lost my ability to feel anything that intensely, it’s been a while since I have. I don’t really cry or scream or get upset these days. It felt like everything was reaching me after it was bypassed through a filter which sure works fine for all those pesky negative emotions, not so great when it comes to the positive ones. It turns out that I am actually capable of more than I believed.

That capability is also reflecting in my recovery. You know, when I first entered treatment I kind of just got by. Yes it was hard and horrendous but I did the least amount of what was required of me. I didn’t challenge the scary foods, I didn’t look carefully at what was fuelling the disorder and I had no intention of going further than what was needed for me to stay alive. I told myself that I could live with things that way and I did. I managed but my world was majorly restricted. I couldn’t eat out which meant that I said no to a lot of social events. My day would unravel because I couldn’t figure out how to eat lunch when I was out of my home and the things that I was allowed to have was limited. I would drive round several stores looking for one brand of something until I found out because I couldn’t be flexible and have something that was different. Anorexia made my life more difficult than it had to be. So when I went into treatment this time, I wanted to do things differently. All the things that weren’t priority before became important. I knew that I was going to have to make myself go out of my comfort zone which would mean not choosing the safest options on the menu or compensating in some way. It meant that I was going to work on eating out and letting other people cook for me. I didn’t get all of that down in treatment but I made a start. The problem was that when I was discharged, I didn’t follow through. I stopped challenging the frightening things and fell back into a bit of a rut. I bargained with myself that if I could just have a healthy body then I didn’t need to push myself. Yet it’s so hard to maintain a recovery like that because you’re never letting fully go of the disorder. I kept holding on to this part of it and I think it was a security thing. Part of me was still invested in the belief that it would heal me in some ways. Yet it was plain to see that keeping that safety net there, I was only falling backwards. It hit me that something had to change and so that’s what I’ve been doing.

The challenge days started a few weeks back now and I have done some pretty big ones. It’s an odd feeling when the beliefs that you clinged on to are disproved. I never know whether to be annoyed or relieved that my predictions are wrong. There is still the fear though that one day I will be right and all the terrible things that I imagined would happen, will happen. I really don’t want to be right on this one. I had a challenge today, reintroducing something that I took out a while back and hadn’t had the nerve to do myself. I don’t think it was a coincidence that as the day wore on today and it got nearer to my appointment that my body image was getting progressively worse. I know this was Anorexia playing tricks on me and I guess I was reminded of that today when my team member said “Is it your voice that is telling you this or is it the Eating Disorder voice?”. I didn’t even hesitate when answering because it was clear. If it was my voice then I wouldn’t have been that upset over what I was trying to do, it would have been fine. I wouldn’t have had to have an appointment and someone with me to just do it. When I think about it, most of the choices I make, whether they be a social thing or a food thing, they’re all governed by this domineering voice which wants to ruin my day and make me miserable. I’m tired of listening to that and responding to it. Next week I hit one of my biggest challenges. I am anxious already and that is why I know I have to do it and can’t avoid it anymore. I’ll let you know what happens.

I hope your day has been good to you

momvsed

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